HYLOXALUS

Symphonic Metal • Canada
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Based out of Edmonton, Canada, HYLOXALUS initially grew from a handful of demos with intentions to explore a melodeath sound. Instead, soprano lead vocals were added and an array of styles bled into the mix. Having been operating as a studio project, 2021 saw HYLOXALUS take to the stage supporting RAVENOUS and the trio subsequently performed at Armstrong Metalfest (2022) and Hyperspace Metalfest (2023).​ The band’s first two EPs, released in 2019 and 2021, were musically placed in the realms of 2000s euro power metal but with a moodier edge. Make Me The Heart Of The Black Hole sees the trio develop their sound into FEAR FACTORY/STRAPPING YOUNG LAD riffs meets TRISTANIA, with drumming heavily inspired by RUSH.
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HYLOXALUS Make Me the Heart of the Black Hole album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Make Me the Heart of the Black Hole
Symphonic Metal 2024

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HYLOXALUS Make Me the Heart of the Black Hole

Album · 2024 · Symphonic Metal
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siLLy puPPy
HYLOXALUS is a newer band from Edmonton, Canada which initially was aiming for a melodic death metal sound in its presentation but after discovering an operatic diva named Nina Laderoute, the duo of Mike Bell (guitar/bass/synth programming/lead songwriter) and Danial Devost (drums) hit upon a totally new style of symphonic power metal instead. This power trio released two EPS in 2019 and 2021 and at long last in 2024 releases its debut MAKE ME THE HEART OF THE BLACK HOLE.

A unique sounding album, MAKE ME THE HEART OF THE BLACK HOLE features 7 tracks at 35 minutes of playing time and showcases a unique mix of heavy thundering guitar riffs accompanied by spacey atmospheres and an ethereal almost Gothic clean soprano vocal style of Laderoute. Claimed by some a mix of Strapping Young Lad meeting Tristania, the music ranges from the stampeding energetic opener “He Dies In The Swamp” to more straight forward hard rockers like “Beyond The Soil” which deemphasize the power metal extremes and sound more like straight forward heavy metal at times therefore it seems the symphonic metal attributes are the common denominator.

The tracks are well constructed with instantly catchy hooks, strong musical support and strong vocal support from the operatic diva on board. The tracks differ from each other enough to stand on their own and the atmospheric symphonic touches are an integral part of the musical experience and not just a backdrop. The album is actually quite dramatic and sounds very much like a power metal band went to a night at the opera.

The lyrics are quite entertaining too as they narrate fictitious battles and cosmic commonalities. The dynamics of a thundering power metal background (most of the time) and a soft sensual atmospheric accompaniment with a clean vocal diva set outside the context of the metal universe makes the album sound original that’s for sure.

A really decent debut from HYLOXALUS however it doesn’t sound like the band ever quite achieves what they are going for and that is a larger than life musical experience that offers a great number of intermissions and musical styles. No, this is a collection of tracks that implies it wants to be a concept album or even a rock opera of some sort. Of course i can’t fault an album for NOT being something but it does sound like the dramatic achievements of the musical style deserve a more sophisticated format to match.

Perhaps that is in the future but for now all i have to say is that MAKE ME THE HEART OF THE BLACK HOLE certainly stands out from the never-ending flood of metal bands on the market and that is something alone to be proud of. I also like this album a lot too however i would refer to it more as a mix of Battle Beast and Dol Ammad. I guess my one major gripe with this album is Laderoute, as impressive as her vocals are, is a one trick pony with no variations. She needs to let loose and explore other styles more.

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